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|Hague: I'm No 'Soft Touch' on Asylum
- Tories return to refugee issue as election campaign begins
TORY LEADER William Hague once again dragged up the asylum issue today in a desperate bid to bolster his party's poor opinion poll ratings.
"If people want a government after this election which will make sure their asylum system is a safe haven but not a soft touch, then it is their opportunity to get a Conservative government," Hague said as he unveiled a series of election posters in Battersea, south London.
Conservative strategists are believed to have targeted asylum as one of the key issues on which they can bridge the gap between themselves and Tony Blair's ruling Labour Party. Apart from the dangers of flirting with the racist vote, the tactic is also problematic in that Labour itself has brought in extreme anti-refugee measures, with more promised if, as expected, Blair wins the June 7th election.
The Tories did have some small cause for celebration today with the news that one poll has them clawing away at Labour's huge poll lead. In the NOP poll for Channel 4 TV, Labour were down two points on 49 per cent, the Tories up five on 34 and the Liberal Democrats down two on 11.